Friday, January 14, 2005


OK. It's friday night and it's been a long week. I have been doing a ton of reading lately and I am more and more convinced I am on the right side of this argument. I have added more links to great resources on our web site if you need more convincing. Here in Alaska our arguments are more the arguments of the rest of rural America. First and foremost we want local control. We do not want the feds or anyone else to tell us what is best for our kids. But most of the law does not make sense anywhere but in the big metropolitan areas. The areas where the middle class has already given up on public education. They send their kids to private schools. Even Michael Moore admits to sending his daughter to a private school in Manhattan, too many police. The same point is made in a video we just rented, Bringing Up Helen. Too many police at the neighborhood school so they had to pretend to be Luthrens to get into the Luthren school. "Can you afford the tuition?" "Yes" she said, she could. Bet it might be financially easier with vouchers though. Even here in dinky, pop. 30,000, Juneau, AK the ones who can, send their kids "outside" to high school. "The high school's a mess." And the Native Alaskan drop out rate is 30%.

But NCLB is bad for so many more reasons. The main reason is what it is doing to just those students that it claims to help. We are talking here about the inner city kids in schools with few resources. It is forcing a narrowed down curricullum on them. They need to show gains on the test. It doesn't matter how much is learned or absorbed, it is the test scores that count. Scores on tests that have been traditionally designed to sort out students just like themselves. Tests that would have, in years past, sent them perhaps to a tech school. Not many tech schools anymore. Everyone has to take collge prep courses. Everyone has to pass the test in algebra. And then we read about kids being forced out of school or kept back just to make the scores look better. It's late. I'm rambling. I'll begin again, hopefully in the morning. JF

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